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Sylvain Augier: the risk of television

“I understood that while it is possible to die many times, it is urgent to live just as many times! ".

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Sylvain Augier: the risk of television

“I understood that while it is possible to die many times, it is urgent to live just as many times! ". Sylvain Augier spoke thus the day after a paragliding accident which he had miraculously survived. He left us at the age of 68, on March 16, after having managed to turn his lifelong dreams into reality. He had mentioned them, with a look of wonder, in front of Catherine Ceylac in a Tea or Coffee that Madelen invites you to discover, or rediscover.

As a child, he listened to Jacques Chancel and Claude Villers, assuring his family that one day he would be a journalist. Those around him did not take him seriously and yet, in 1979, the day after his 24th birthday, he joined France Inter where he reported and then presented several programs until 1996. At the same time, he joined television where the The only risks he takes, and assumes, are linked to the audience of the programs entrusted to him. After Sexy Folies, which he hosted with Catherine Belkhodja, Mireille Dumas and France Roche, he found himself at the helm of La Une est à vous by Guy Lux. Every Saturday, his mission is to convince the seven million viewers who follow him to vote, by telephone, for one series or another. The switchboard receives 18,000 calls in two hours which, in the 1980s, was considered an achievement.

Also read: Sylvain Augier, the thirst to fly and dream

He is then considered “the little young man who is on the rise”. He is happy about it, of course, but the heights that interest him are not those of notoriety. The extreme sports enthusiast that he never ceased to be, targeted many others. This is how on August 24, 1988, two days before the resumption of La une est à vous after a summer break, he decided to extend his sporting vacation with a walk in the sky. He meets friends at the foot of the Pyrenees, before joining them on the peak of Loudenvielle, at an altitude of 2000 meters. A friend having forgotten his wing, he lends him his, specifying that he will take the opportunity to try a Genair, a particularly efficient Swiss wing, capable of climbing 5 to 6 meters per second. A silence settles around him, but he pays no more attention to it than to advice given to him the day before. We explained to him that this wing was the most efficient, of course, but also the most dangerous. It has already killed several people and disabled a few others for life. Some even ended up committing suicide.

It was around 5 p.m. when he found himself at the summit. He writes, as is customary, his blood type in the collar of his suit before putting it on, then setting off. He savors this moment but very briefly. He suddenly hears a “clack” and discovers that half of his wing has just closed. He tries to open it again, but it's mission impossible. The fall of ten meters per second and the centrifugal force prevent the slightest movement of the hand. He then realizes that he does not have the slightest chance of surviving this descent of several hundred meters. He ends up hitting the ground without losing consciousness, to his great surprise. He discovered that he had fallen on a patch of grass measuring 15 by 15 meters, probably the only one between two ravines and two rocks on which his head should have crashed. He manages to take off his suit, imagines that, 48 hours later, he will present his show in plaster, before finally realizing the reality of the extent of the damage. He is bleeding profusely and above all, he has a double open fracture and his right foot is completely torn off. Furthermore, no one saw him fall and if the emergency services manage to find him, it will be too late. Cell phones don't exist yet. He then realizes that he probably only has one hour left to live and decides to savor it fully. He hums a song by Jean-Jacques Goldman that he knows by heart and imagines the headlines of the next day's newspapers, aware that eight days later, his name will be completely forgotten. He then had neither wife nor children and therefore left nothing behind.

He is unaware that two walkers saw a fluorescent sail falling and, without even wondering if there was anyone at the end, they immediately called the emergency services. This is how a quarter of an hour later, Richard Raynal, French hang-gliding champion, landed next to the injured man. An Alouette 3 helicopter arrives immediately. A rescuer descends at the end of a winch. He notes that Sylvain Augier has lost 5 liters of blood. His group being universal, the two men gave him some immediately before an emergency transfer to the Tarbes hospital. After six months of immobilization and suffering, Sylvain Augier decides not to give up on his passion and even less on television. This is how The Treasure Map was born, but above all Must Not Dream, which made him the pioneer of aerial views. His rescue aboard a helicopter made him want to learn to fly. He had indeed decided to live, whatever the price to pay. As Jean-Jacques Goldman rightly sang, he followed his dreams.

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